Sept. 17, 2013
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Notre Dame freshman midfielder Morgan Andrews (Milford, N.H./Milford) has achieved a number of milestones in her young soccer career. On Tuesday morning, she recorded another first, becoming the first Fighting Irish women's soccer player to be named Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Player of the Week in the program's inaugural season of ACC competition.
Andrews, who also appears on the Top Drawer Soccer National Team of the Week for the second consecutive week, scored the lone goal on a header in the 22nd minute of Notre Dame's 1-0 victory at No. 1 (and previously-unbeaten) North Carolina on Sunday, giving the Fighting Irish their sixth series win over the Tar Heels, and fifth at Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill, N.C.
"The movement of Morgan off the ball when she scored her header was tremendous," Notre Dame head coach Randy Waldrum said. "She initiated a run from a deep position at the top of the 18-yard box, and ran past two defenders to get in between the last pair of defenders. It was also a great service from (sophomore defender) Brittany (Von Rueden) on the right flank, with a world-class finish.
"I think she is the best freshman in the ACC and she continues to get better each week," he added. "She is adjusting quickly to the college game, and is becoming an attacking catalyst for us in midfield."
Andrews is the first Notre Dame freshman to earn conference player of the week honors in almost exactly a year, when current sophomore midfielder Cari Roccaro (East Islip, N.Y./East Islip) nabbed BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week accolades on Sept. 24, 2012.
"I'm thrilled and honored to have been chosen as the ACC Player of the Week," Andrews said. "This really wouldn't have happened without my teammates, and it's also just another reminder to keep working hard because we've still got a long way to go this season."
For the season, Andrews ranks second on the Fighting Irish squad with four goals and nine points. She also leads the team with 25 shots (tied for 10th in the ACC) and two match-winning goals (tied with junior forward Lauren Bohaboy
(Mission Viejo, Calif./Santa Margarita) for fifth in the conference).
"I'm so proud of Morgan's great start to the season," Roccaro said. "She's scored some great goals and really helped move our team in the right direction in terms of where we want to be as we continue to play more ACC games."
"Morgan is really a triple threat in that she can create opportunities for herself and her teammates, win the 50/50 balls and find a way to put it in the back of the net," said sophomore forward Crystal Thomas (Elgin, Ill./Wheaton Academy). "Personally, I love working with her because we can just make eye contact and she'll know exactly what to do. She can play me a through-ball from 60 yards away that will land right in stride on my lead foot, or just a simple short textured pass for a quick shot. She's already brought a lot to our team in a short time and I'm excited to see what lies ahead for all of us."
Notre Dame, which moved up to No. 4 in the latest Soccer America poll on Tuesday morning (the coaches' poll will be released later in the day) kicks off the home portion of its inaugural ACC schedule at 7 p.m. (ET) Thursday when it welcomes fellow conference newcomer Syracuse to Alumni Stadium. The match will be streamed live and free of charge on the official Fighting Irish athletics multimedia platform, WatchND.
Thursday's contest has been designated as a "White Out" at Alumni Stadium, with the first 750 fans in attendance receiving free Notre Dame women's soccer "White Out" t-shirts in support of the team's first-ever ACC home match.
Season and single-match tickets for Notre Dame women's soccer may be purchased through the University's Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office by calling (574) 631-7356 or visiting the ticket windows at Gate 9 of Purcell Pavilion weekdays from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (ET). Tickets also can be ordered on-line 24 hours a day with a major credit card through the official Notre Dame athletics ticketing web site, UND.com/tickets. Groups wishing to attend Fighting Irish soccer matches also can receive a discounted ticket rate -- contact Rita Baxter in the Murnane Family Athletics Ticket Office to learn more.
For more information on the Fighting Irish women's soccer program, follow Notre Dame on Twitter (@NDsoccernews or @NDsoccer), like the Fighting Irish on Facebook (facebook.com/NDWomenSoccer) or sign up for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the "Fan Center" pulldown menu on the main page at UND.com.
-- Chris Masters, Associate Athletic Media Relations Director